When it comes to RV repairs, roof issues can cause some of the most detrimental long-term damage. But many of the problems that occur can be rectified by RV owners themselves. Suppose you have holes or damaged roof material and are waiting to have a professional fix the problem. In that case, you may want to consider doing your own RV roof repair before the issue becomes an even more significant concern. Here’s an overview to assist you with DIY RV roof repairs.
How to Repair an RV Rubber Roof
There are two types of rubber roofs, each with their benefits and detriments:
1. EPDM Rubber Roofs
This synthetic rubber roofing material is named after its chemical makeup, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. It is applied in sheets attached to the roof, and its seams are sealed with either adhesives or tape. EPDM has been around for more than 60 years and is very flexible. These roofs last 20 to 25 years.
2. TPO Rubber Roofs
Thermoplastic Polyolefin is a rubber that is chemically adhered to the roof. The seams are sealed with a hot air gun, and the material tends to reflect sunlight rather than absorb it. These roofs typically last from 15 to 20 years.
To repair a puncture or tear in either roofing material, first, make sure the surface is all clean and free from debris. Purchase “Diseal Patches” made for the material from which your roof is made, either EPDM or TPO.
These patches make RV roof repair a snap. Simply place them over puncture holes or rips in roofing material, and they act as a permanent repair. Clean the area around the repair spot with roof cleaner, then water and let dry. Then wipe the area with denatured alcohol. Once dry, just peel and place a patch where needed. Then, with a small roller, work from the patch’s center, rolling outward to make a permanent connection with the roof.
If the damage is more extensive in scope, purchase Dicor Repair Tape, which is just a roll of the same material used in Diseal Patches. You will treat the roof surface in the same fashion and after adhering to the tape and rolling it, place a bead of Dicor Sealant around the edges of the tape.
How to Repair an RV Fiberglass Roof
Fiberglass RV roof repairs are a little more involved because of the material. When fixing a puncture or tear, you should be instructed in safety first – wear a mask, as fiberglass and lungs don’t get along with one another. You may need to dig a bit of the fiberglass out of a hole to patch it, so be prepared.
If your repair is deep or rather broad, you will need an “Epoxy Kit” to fill in the area and some fiberglass tape. To complete your RV roof repair, layer a piece of fiberglass tape, then epoxy, and let dry. Repeat with the necessary number of layers to fill in the hole. Then sand and paint the area to match the existing roof.
You can use Diseal patches or Dicor tape for smaller RV roof repairs, just as they are used on rubber roofs. Or consider using Eternabond, a tape that is a micro sealant that can make any surface waterproof. It is heavier than Dicor repair tape, but it is not difficult to apply. However, once the backing is removed, it immediately sticks in place, so make sure you’ve put the tape exactly where you want it!
RV Roof Repair Restorers
If you determine that the repairs needed on your RV roof are more than you can handle, consider using an RV roof repair specialist or having the roof restored. This would involve removing the EPDM or TPO rubber roof sheets, replacing them with new ones, or sanding and recoating a fiberglass roof.
Many restoration specialists reseal, adhere gel coats, and buff the roof to restore its shine after repairing holes or tears in the roofing material.
Benefits of RV Roof Sealant & Coating
An RV roof is the umbrella under which your entire house-on-wheels sits. So protecting its systems, structure, and belongings should be high on your priority list. There are several benefits to having a dependable, waterproof roof in good working order:
With water leaks come structural breakdown of the materials in the walls of your RV. If the water stays in those walls, you will, no doubt, discover mold and need to do a large RV roof repair. The water may also get between the wallboard and the external skin, causing delamination.
A solid roof will help keep your RV warmer in the cold months and cooler in the hot months. As insulation in the walls and roof will be protected by a well-maintained roof.
Energy Use Reduction
Because the roof is in good repair, the heat or air conditioning will have fewer places to escape your RV, giving you better control over your energy consumption.
Reduced Costs & Reduce Repair Issues
Most rubber and fiberglass RV roof repairs can run into the thousands of dollars when enlisting a repair shop to do them. With DIY maintenance, you can save yourself a great deal of money. AND by doing the repairs quickly, you reduce the chance of more damage occurring, like water leaks.
This caulk-like material acts as a sealant on seams and in small holes. Unlike caulk, however, it is more flexible and does not harden and break off.
- Creates a secure, secondary seal along the roof’s edges, air vents, vent pipes and screw heads
- Adheres firmly to aluminum, mortar, wood, vinyl, galvanized metal, fiberglass and concrete
This synthetic rubber roofing membrane is very durable. It can be sealed with liquid adhesives or a rubber-formulated tape.
- Well Suited for Retrofit Installations
- Flexes very well
A micro sealant in tape form, this adhesive forms a waterproof seal wherever it is placed.
- Ideal for use in sunny environments
- Simple installation only requires some surface preparation before use
Rubberized Leak Stopper
This seam sealer comes in a paint can and can be used on vent pipes, cracks, and seams. It is much like a rubber tar.
- Tube leak stopper roof patch, a fiber reinforced trowel grade rubberized roof patch
- Adds extra shine to your product
Fiberglass Repair Tape
This cloth comes in tape form and is used to create a base that can hold a layer of epoxy in place for repairs.
- Quick Roof Extreme Tape, White for RVs
- Permanently repairs EPDM, TPO, metal, fiberglass, aged and rigid PVC, wood, OSB and most building materials
Final Thoughts on RV Roof Repair
Hopefully, now you have some clarity on how to repair your roof and prevent further damage in the future. Doing your own RV roof repair doesn’t have to be technical or difficult, you just need the determination to do it!
Last update on 2020-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API